27 June 2017

FACE TOMORROW


Perfectly executed and determined positive Y2K//SXE hardcore from Seattle. Of course, you would have guessed that if you had read the "Rain City Straight Edge" thing on the cover. Moshes on point, breakdowns on lock, cheat beat fastcore parts dialed in. It's all of the things, you know? And some of you....some of you know exactly what I mean. 






26 June 2017

TWINK


I work with this dude named Pete. He's a few years older than me, and was geographically blessed....so he saw BAD BRAINS in '79 and SSD in Boston in '81 and the Rock Against Maximum Rocknoroll gig in SF with AGNOSTIC FRONT and FUCK-UPS in SF in '82 where one of the B.A.S.H. boneheads got stabbed in the neck. By contrast, I saw THE DEAD MILKMEN in Tulsa in 1989. You see the difference a few years and a few hundred miles can make? Anyway...while I was getting into Punk, Pete was getting into jazz (he was done with hardcore by then, he's one of those rather annoying old(er) types who thinks hardcore died when they stopped going to hardcore shows. I'm all like "what about NAKED HIPPIES? What about LOGICAL NONSENSE? And that fool just ain't hearing it - at all), but Pete is a record nerd, and a few years ago after he had all of the jazz records he started digging deep into the hard rock record nerd world. He obsesses on $400 bonzers that are sometimes interesting, sometimes only noteworthy because they are rare, and sometimes readily available via reissue....but still, there's some jams in there and the dude's general taste is on point - I've used him more than a few times as a guide and/or advisor into the the jazz/freak rock underworlds, and his assistance is appreciated. So we were working together a few months ago and he was playing some tunes and I was digging them. They were heavy sounds....they were weird sounds...I liked them. The sounds were TWINK's 1970 LP Think Pink. All over the place and out of motherfukkn sight bizarro heavy psych/rock from a dude from PINK PAIRIES, and I was pretty instantly hooked - I didn't care if this was nerd fodder or $1 bin chud because the sounds were pristine. So I used the internet and I ordered a Burger Records 2013 cassette reissue while I was taking a dump (on the clock - "never shit on your time, never sweat on theirs") and before I left work that day a copy was headed my way. The reissue features an entire B-side of outtakes (and, jahbless, they are excellent), and I have listened to this tape countless times since it dropped through my slot. So...even though hardcore didn't die in '84 when Pete stopped going to shows, I am glad that those "other" ears are in my life to help keep mine open. Now....open yours. 


25 June 2017

ZEITGEIST


Decidedly more swing than their 2011 demo or even the (excellent) full length platter from the following year, 2013's Listen Once And File demo (OK, it was really just a tour tape and maybe that wasn't the proper title) burns from start to finish. I feel like the vocals didn't really settle in until after the first full length (check last year's Z2 - Judgement Daze for complete realization of place and purpose), and then ZEITGEIST parted ways just when they had shit dialed. Hey man...finish on top, I guess? Gritty punk with overt rock 'n roll overtones throughout - glad I got to see them in the flesh. 


24 June 2017

23 June 2017

AFRICAN GUITAR vol. 1


Made a trip to Oakland's Contact Records a couple of weeks back while the wife was getting her eyebrows done. Tiny ass shop near MacArthur BART, but absolutely fukkn rammed with gems. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount (and quality) of punk bangers in a store whose focus is concentrated a little deeper and a little further back. I snagged a few slabs, was introduced to Catherine Ribeiro (thank you), and impulsively grabbed two cassette volumes of African guitar music on my way to the register. It was a good trip. The two tapes are a booted version of Mississippi's brilliant but prohibitively expensive 5xLP box set and the title pretty much sums it up. Artists from Kenya, Sierra Leon, Congo, Zaire, Uganda and Zambia fill almost 90 minutes with sounds that are so clearly from another world. Early blues roots ooze through some of the tracks, tribal mesmerism, subdued psychedelic freakouts...just pure and beautiful sounds. Perfect lazy listening - and yeah, Volume 2 will be up here eventually.



22 June 2017

BRAINxTOILET


Utterly guttural Southern grind. Forceful, massive, chaotic, relentless....and fukk is it fast. Choice cut is "Infinite Regret" if only for the (slightly) slower kinda '90s sounding guitar part that creeps in just before the robotic lurch/squeal/mini mosh, but each of those parts whizz by in just a couple of seconds. This 2013 release from North Carolina's BRAINxTOILET requires maximum attention, and maximum volume comes highly recommended. 



21 June 2017

SUBMISSION HOLD


I suppose that we never really should have been friends. In 2017, in the internet age, I seriously doubt that we ever would have been friends or even crossed paths at all. FUCKFACE were uncouth, snotty, drunk, sloppy and irreverent. SUBMISSION HOLD were concise, serious, witty but controlled, overtly political and exceptionally mature. And yet we stood outside the picture window at Koo's Cafe in Santa Ana, laughing together and watching the local band inside that converted living room and collectively wondering if any of the kids would bother to stay at the show to see either of our bands. They were having van trouble, our tour was almost over, we brainstormed ways to get them safely to their next show/s, we traded information and we promised to cross paths again. Then in the fall of 1996 we did cross paths in Vancouver (they were the relatively sane and conventional conclusion to one of the weirdest 36 hour periods of my life, in fact), John soaked the couch in their very well put together home before we headed east and I apologized the next time we saw each other....and we all laughed about it. Bands didn't sound like SUBMISSION HOLD then, and they surely don't today....and I dare say that it's even more special today, in the internet age, to cross paths with people as special and as real as those Canadians. 



20 June 2017

BULLDOZED


Late '90s metalcore was all the rage everywhere is seemed at the time, and SE Asia was no different. But there's something about the pure and vicious don't give a fukk vibe about these recordings that makes me almost nostalgic for knuckle dragging monotonous E chugs and beat down mid tempo moshes. From the brief liner notes on this tape, I gather that BULLDOZED may not have been the most savory or supportive dudes in the Philippines DIY scene ("we never claimed we're the good guys") but they were certainly fierce, and growing up surrounded by poverty and a flourishing economy based on drugs and prostitution that funnels profits to foreign nationals and organized crime while leaving the local population to fight over the scraps....? Well, that might throw a little shade on your outlook. Even on these rough recordings - a 1998 demo and a live set from the following year - you can feel the power....and the hate. 


19 June 2017

ROARKE MENZIES


A couple of weekends ago I had a solid plan. Was going to go see some reborn '90s hardcore band in Oakland, then watch a high school crush in action back in San Francisco, then stop by an old haunt that I haven't visited in 15+ years (conveniently located on my route home) where my pal was spinning records. It was ambitious to be sure, but I am ambitious, the timing seemed right, and I figured I could squeeze all three events in. After an overpriced afternoon artisanal pizza, however, I found myself in the company of two people who wanted to do none of the things that I wanted to do and we were very much enjoying each other's company so....plans out the window and we found ourselves en route to a free jazz performance. A free jazz performance that turned out to be not a free jazz performance at all, but rather an experimental/noise/electronics show featuring a dude who also belongs to a free jazz outfit....and also this dude, who was halfway through his performance when we walked in the door. Roarke Menzies makes all of his sounds with his mouth and body, then spends each piece warping and manipulating those sounds with an array of pedals and effects, and watching him sink into his own world of sound was well worth missing out on all of the things I thought I was going to enjoy that evening. Sometimes accidents are the best. 



18 June 2017

9 IRON


I was talking to Clayton last week about '90s pop punk and '90s hardcore, and how that line was sometimes more than a little blurry, to the benefit of both genres. GRIMPLE's Up Your Ass LP is so perfect (an make no mistake, it IS perfect) because it is super pissed, lightning fast and catchy as hell. Before pop punk was universally revered as a bad word/s, bands like 9 IRON loved getting schwasted on shitty malt liquor and playing fast and loud...and they loved GREEN DAY too. And that was OK. In fact, it resulted in some really great recordings. Dated, but still great. This band popped up just when I left Oklahoma, and I don't honestly remember if I ever saw them or not (I want to think they played one of the two Mission PunkFest gigs at 17th & Capp, but I might be confusing them with BOB OF TRIBES, who were on tour with BROTHER INFERIOR at the time....), but I know I played the shit out of this rough and snotty demo for a few years before it found its way into a box. Fortunately, it also found its way back out.


17 June 2017

SUBTERFUGE


UK punk from 1983...there's a reason why people worship and ape this shit 35 years later, because when "Soldiers Of Fortune" drops it feels like all is right with the world. I stand by my words in the initial post - start with the tracks from Woolshag's Last Round demo, as they are straight screamers and it makes you appreciate the band's humble ramshackle beginnings a little more (there are only four months between the two recordings, but still). I am enjoying revisiting these old posts....there's a lot to dig into.

16 June 2017

"And If Thou Will, Remember"


Another mix tape that I made for a dear friend who lives far away. I haven't mailed it yet (I am bad about that, along with many other things related to procrastination and distraction and delay), but I know that they never visit The Escape so I don't really feel like I'm cheating here. I'm just sharing. Sharing is a thing I am pretty good at. This tape contains some long time favorites of mine, included in the hopes that they will perhaps become someone else's favorites if they aren't already (SLEEP CHAMBER, OMEGA TRIBE, WIPERS, GLENN BRANCA), a handful of relatively recent discoveries (PATRICK COWLEY, M. NAGESWARA RAO, ROSA YEMEN, JEFF BECK), and some with presence in both categories (or neither). And while the tape was very deliberately curated for one specific set of ears, it's of course possible that the sounds contained will never land there...so this is why we share. 


15 June 2017

NOWHERE MEN


DC based two man recording project...snotty hardcore with a few detours that are easier to embrace when there's only one person writing the songs (I'm talking about the NINE POUND HAMMER-esque untitled second track...though that one could be a cover that I don't recognize because I'm not cool). One demo in 2014...and thanks to the internet it will live on forever in the ether...instead of in a show box in some kids closet waiting to be "discovered" like the '80s versions of projects like this one


14 June 2017

CRUTCH


I wish that this tape could actually capture the fire that this trio started one afternoon back in March when I saw them lay waste to a glorified storage unit in Oklahoma City, but for the geographically challenged....this tape will have to suffice. Volume helps. CRUTCH capture the late '90s hc/blast/pv vibe perfectly - face melting hardcore tunes with brutally simplistic mid paced stomps trading off with grinding blurs and the things Max would always call "jerk off riffs" when WHN? were writing songs (you know, the hand just goes up and down the the neck...back and forth...sorry kids, I know this is a family friendly music blog - except for all the talk about drugs and stuff - but seriously....that is the motion, and that's what the riffs are called, and actually I'm not sorry at all). These dudes absolutely slayed in the flesh, and I was almost hesitant to press PLAY when I got home because sometimes it's just not as good, you know? But this collection rrrrrips right out of the gate, and CRUTCH have fully mastered that CROSSED OUT style 'hardcore into blast into slow DBeat back into blast' thing (and if you know what I mean then you totally fukkn know exactly what I mean) so perfectly that you feel like you know what's coming before they even do the damn thing but then they still manage to surprise you ("Exempt Employee" is a perfect example). I confess that I am not always (or even often) in the mood to listen to this brand of destruction (though I am always down to see it live), but when I am.....? This is the fukkn shit I want. 23 tracks (in just under 22 minutes) culled from comps and demos and shit, and every one of them is a banger. 

13 June 2017

LARVAE


The world of regional USDIY '90s hardcore has yet to be fully explored. So many bands that existed - and thrived - in their own (then) isolated pre-internet areas and then faded away....legacies that are little more than legend and short run demo tapes. LARVAE is one of those...the 1995 demo (more on that later) is a ripper, but this collection of tracks from the following year is colossal dual vocal political crust in league with MANKIND? and other more revered acts. Ten tracks, and the whole thing fukkn cooks...even through a less than optimal demo quality recording. But everything is here, and tracks like "Ruled By The State" show the chops and vision of a band that deserves more than some grey bearded boner blabbing about them on the internet twenty years in the future. Picture this band blowing DEFIANCE out of the room, this is why '90s hardcore fukkn rules. 

Check the post of LARVAE's 1995 demo here, and read a story about a dude named Jizz and his friend Shitbong. Even if you remember the story from when I posted that demo two years ago (yeah....as if you remember that shit), it's worth revisiting because good stories are always a good time. And who doesn't like a good time? Dummies. That's who.